Debunking 10 Common Diabetes Myths
Diabetes mellitus is a leading health concern across the globe. The fact that this disease can be genetically passed on has made it a major worry for diabetics and health experts, as even children as young as 8 years of age have begun showing symptoms of diabetes.
The more widespread a disease, the more prevalent are myths surrounding the condition. Let’s explore 10 common myths on diabetes and unravel the facts behind them.
Myth 1: People with diabetes mellitus cannot eat sugar
Fact: People with diabetes can eat a normal diet which includes some sugar in moderation. As long as you maintain a healthy diet and take your regular medication, there is no reason why a little sugar through sweets and chocolates cannot be enjoyed.
Myth 2: Diabetes mellitus means your body does not produce insulin
Fact: This is only partially true. Unknown to most, there are two types of this ailment: diabetes type 1 and diabetes type 2.
In diabetes type 1, the pancreas makes little or no insulin. In type 2, the body is unable to successfully utilize the insulin produced.
Type 1 is commonly passed on genetically and found in children. Type 2 is generally developed in adulthood.
Myth 3: Diabetes mellitus as a disease affects only adults
Fact: Inspite of the rising cases of diabetes among children and adolescents, many parents still do not take the condition seriously. This is a huge mistake for diabetes can strike at any age and with equal severity. This is especially true if the diabetic gene runs in your family. Uncontrolled diabetes can pose a serious threat to your child’s health as they grow up.
Myth 4: Diabetes mellitus Type 2 is mild
Fact: A common myth holds that diabetes type 2 is a milder form of the condition. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whether your body cannot make insulin or use insulin, both conditions can have equally harmful repercussions on your health if not managed properly.
Myth 5: Obesity is the main cause of diabetes
Fact: While obesity can trigger diabetes, it is not the main cause of the condition. Statistics show that people who have diabetes running in their family are more likely to develop the condition than someone who is overweight. However, obesity does increase the risk factor.
Myth 6: Diabetes treatment always requires insulin shots
Fact: Out of the two types of diabetes, type 1 requires insulin shots as the body does not make sufficient insulin. From all those who suffer diabetes type 2, only a limited number require insulin. The rest can manage their diabetes with oral medication, a healthy diet, and an active lifestyle.
Myth 7: Carbohydrates are bad for diabetics
Fact: Carbohydrates are needed for energy. Those with diabetes must consume carbs; however, they have to monitor the kind of carbs they consume. Opt for healthy carbs found in brown rice, oats, potato, vegetables, and legumes. Avoid bread, cakes, biscuits and similarly processed foods.
Myth 8: Women with diabetes cannot conceive
Fact: While this was true in earlier times, it no longer holds any weight. With advancements in modern medicine, women with diabetes type 1 and type 2 can successfully conceive and deliver a healthy baby. All that is required is regular check-ups and a control on blood sugar levels.
Myth 9: Diabetes causes sexual dysfunction
Fact: Diabetes does not cause sexual dysfunction. However, uncontrolled diabetes can affect your sexual health and fertility leading to lowered libido and therefore lowered chances of conceiving. As long as your diabetes is in control, you can live a normal and healthy life.
Myth 10: People with diabetes cannot get tattoos or piercings
Fact: People with diabetes can opt for body art only if their diabetes is under control. High sugar levels in the blood will slow down the healing process and can lead to skin infections. If you are planning a tattoo or a piercing, monitor your blood sugar for at least a week before getting the artwork done.